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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 373-379

Assessment of respiratory symptoms and lung function among textile workers at Kano Textile Mills, Kano, Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M Nagoda
Department of Medicine, Bayero University, Kano
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Source of Support: We wish to aknowlegede the support of Department of physiology Bayero University and department of Medicine Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital for providing the spzirometer and technical assistance for this study, Conflict of Interest: The authors of this study have no vested interest in the textile industries mentioned in the study and have no working relationship with the manufacturers of the spirometer machine used for the study.

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.104505

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Background: The number of textile industries in Nigeria with large work force is on the rise. There is thus the need to assess medical challenges of its workers, one of which is respiratory ailments. Although much has been written about the subject globally, only few studies have been done in Nigeria. This study aims to address this gap. Objective: A cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary functions among Textile Workers in Kano, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study was done, Two hundred male workers exposed to raw cotton dust and its end products in a Textile Company and 200 unexposed workers with similar age- and gender-matched were investigated. Their forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV11), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) were determined with a flow-sensing spirometer and Wright's peak flow meter. Results: Exposed workers generally complained of cough, phlegm production, rhinitis, wheezing, chest pain, and breathlessness. Unexposed worker has a significant lower frequency (P < 0.001) of symptoms as well as higher (P < 0.001) forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV11), and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) than exposed workers. The reduction in ventilatory function of exposed from predicted values for Nigerian men was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than unexposed workers. The smokers among the exposed and unexposed workers had significantly lower lung function values than nonsmokers. Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms were more prevalent among workers in most dusty sections of the factory. Use of protective mask should be enforced. Workers in the spinning and weaving sections of the company compared with workers in other sections had the lowest lung function indices.

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